Keeping Charged Up On the Go

Keri knows when she travels with me, our charging needs are taken care of.  Even during a major power-outage in DC, I was able to keep five people charged up and running.  This is because I have a ton of gadgets dedicated to keeping me connected on the road.  I’m going to take you through what I own, and when I pack it.  (I don’t take all of them at the same time!)

1.  Anker® SlimTalk 3200mAh Backup External Battery Pack Charger

The Anker SlimTalk Charger is a Micro-USB based device that can charge up any electronic that is

a black cell phone with a cable

micro-USB based as well as any Apple product if you purchase a cheap converter.

I use this to recharge my cell phone, mobile hotspot, iPad, Nintendo DS (I know, I know), and Kindle when they deplete at inconvenient times.

This charger, at 100%, will charge my Droid4 to 100% with about 25% left on the battery.  Since this device is also charged via micro-USB, it makes for one less charger I have to carry around to keep this going too.

This one is always in my bag since it is a great back-up with not too much work.

2.  Motorola Micro-USB Home and Travel Charger

a black charger and cordAt $5.00, this micro-USB charger is a steal.  I keep this in my travel bag so I never forget it, and I use my normal chargers at home.  As I said before, my cell phone, mobile hotspot, iPad, Nintendo DS, and Kindle all take the same charger, so as long as I have this in my bag, I can recharge almost all my electronics.  For this moment in this post, my poor iPad has no charging resources, but that will change in just one second…





3.  neXplug Ultra Small Micro USB to Apple Adapter

a black and silver adapterThis handy micro-USB to Apple adapter can be added to either of the two items above to change them into iPad chargers.

It is so tiny, I keep it zipped in the pocket of my purse to pull out whenever needed.  Since my iPad’s battery life is around 10 hours, I haven’t had to use this much.  But on a trip to and from Hawaii, it was a “life”-saver for my battery.



4.  Battery Powered USB Charger

a box of a deviceI only use this when I’m traveling somewhere where I think I will be using my electronics heavily with no access to outlets.  Even though my portable charger will give me another full cell-phone charge, it can’t charge all my electronics completely!

This is not in my must-pack list, but I have it just in case.  It has come in most handy when we’ve had power outages, since I also stock many, many batteries for it (hey, I’m a survivor!  If by survivor, I mean, once I got a huge pack of batteries on sale for $5).

It has definitely saved me when exploring a new city.  I wore down my phone from excessive GPS use and my iPad from excessive area research.  I found a Starbucks, but the outlets were all taken.

5.  Belkin Mini Surge Protector Dual USB Charger

a close-up of a power stripThis mini surge protector isn’t a must have for every bit of travel for me–just because it takes up extra room in my bag.  It’s mini for a surge protector, but you’ll definitely be aware you have it with you.  But when you are traveling with another person (or multiple people!), outlets in the hotel room can become scarce.  This allows three items to plug into one outlet, plus two USB devices.

When I do bring this with me, I’m glad to have the extra space.  I stayed at a Westin very recently where there was only one accessible outlet that already had a lamp plugged into it.  I was sharing this room with another person, so I wish I hadn’t been lazy and had taken this with me.

I’ve been eyeing a multiple-device charger in Sky Mall that I may carry instead of this, though that won’t give me a plug for my laptop.  And once I have my laptop plugged in, I can always stick two USB items in it to charge (albiet, slowly).

6.  Kensington Auto/Air Power Inverter with Two USB Ports for Mac or PC

a black electronic device with a cordThis is a great product for when you are traveling on a plane with DC or emPower chargers.  (Note, if your plane says AC power, your regular charger works fine, don’t buy this for that!  Check SeatGuru to find out what kind of power, if any, your airplane will have.)  This also works in cars, when plugged into the cigarette lighter.

It has a plug plus two USB inputs.  The amount of power you can get out of this depends on the power draw of your laptop.  When Keri plugged her iPad into the device while I had my gaming laptop plugged in, it shut off power to both our devices.  I haven’t yet tried it with my new netbook that I travel with, mostly because I haven’t encountered DC or emPower on the plane since then, but anecdotes from other people suggest it will work fine with two devices.

Some airplanes don’t provide enough power to charge your laptop, but they will maintain it.  I recommend going in with a fully charged laptop, but if your laptop is completely off, it will add to its charge.

What electronics do you use?  Do you have any suggestions for me?  Have you tried these products?  Let us know!


About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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